Dan Sichting isn't one to sit back and wait for something bad to happen. He believes in being prepared.
That's why the superintendent sent a letter to all Bloomfield School District parents Wednesday explaining what his school corporation is doing to prepare for a possible local outbreak of the Swine Flu.
The first death from Swine Flu in the U.S. was reported in Texas on Tuesday, and Indiana has reported one case from a student at Notre Dame in South Bend.
"I want to assure you of Bloomfield School District's efforts to avoid the spread of any flu or other disease," Sichting wrote in the letter that was also sent to the Greene County Daily World. "Bloomfield School District custodians use disinfectants to wipe down surfaces within the building during our normal daily cleaning activities. At this point, no confirmed cases of Swine Flu have been reported in Bloomfield School District. Additionally, no confirmed cases of Swine Flu have been diagnosed in Greene County."
Sichting stressed that his school will be following the protocol established by Greene County health officials.
"If a student reports to the Bloomfield School District nurse's office with any respiratory flu-like symptoms, an inquire will be made to find out if the student has traveled to Mexico or has been in contact with someone who recently traveled to Mexico," Sichting explained.
Sichting stressed that it's important for parents and guardians to talk about the media reports concerning the Swine Flu outbreak around the world.
"Students sometimes hear these reports and become very upset or scared. Please emphasize the best method to avoid contracting the Swine Flu is to follow good sanitary procedures. Students should be advised to wash their hands frequently throughout the day," Sichting said.
He added that his school often places hand sanitizers in classrooms and the cafeteria for student and staff use.
"Please encourage your student to use the hand sanitizers frequently throughout the day," Sichting suggested.
Sichting also noted that if a student is sick, please don't send them to school.
"If your student develops a fever with respiratory symptoms of sneezing, a cough, and a fever of 101 or better with chills and muscle aches and pains, please don't send your son or daughter to school," Sichting said.
The Indiana State Department of Health has created a call center to answer general questions from Hoosiers concerning the Swine Flu outbreak or composition. That number is 1-877-826-0011, and someone will answer between 8 a.m. and 4:45 p.m. on Monday through Friday.
This isn't an easy time to be mayor of a small city in Indiana. But Linton Mayor Tom Jones is doing his best to make sure Lintonians get the same services they've been used to over the years.
But some in Indianapolis aren't making it easy for mayors like Jones. They're forcing them to come up with more money on their own, which means possible cuts in services.
Jones went on record with this newspaper Friday, giving Linton residents an idea of what could happen in 2010.
He should be commended for being honest with Linton residents. Some would bury their heads in the sand, and then spring the news on folks when it happens.
I don't want to see the Phil Harris Golf Course or A.M. Risher Memorial Swimming pool close. And I want Fairview Cemetery to continue to be one of the best around.
But I also understand Linton only has so much money. If it means paying a little more to play golf, go swimming or to bury a loved one, then we all can do our part.
Jones is more than willing to talk to anyone about Linton's financial situation. He deserves credit for that too.
Chris is the general manager/editor of the Greene County Daily World. He can be reached by telephone at 847-4487 or 1-800-947-4487 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org .